"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
William Shakespeare, Henry IV
In the cage after the spilt decision win was announced, still UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre told Joe Rogan he needed some time off for unstated personal reasons, insinuating it could even be for forever.
While offering profuse kind words for the champion, UFC president Dana White never the less expressed frustration with the remarks.
"Did he say he wants to retire?" asked White. "He didn't say 'I'm going to retire. I'm going to hang it up. It's been great everybody. Thanks a lot for all the years. See you later. He said 'I'm going to take some time off.'
"No...You don't just say 'I'll take some time off, maybe I'll be back, maybe I won't.' You owe it to the fans, you owe it to that belt, you owe it to this company and you owe it to Johny Hendricks to give him that opportunity to fight again.
"There's no 'I'm going to go on a cruise. I'm going to be gone for two years. I'm going to take a hiatus. I'm going to take a leave of absence. "Whatever the hell it was that he was saying. That's not how it works. It doesn't work that way.'"
“I was up in the octagon. They knew they lost. They knew they lost that fight, and obviously, they were thrilled. It’s not Georges’ fault. It’s not his fault, but to get up there and especially after you were in a fight like that to say that 'I'm going to take some time off and you know,' I don't even know what it meant.
"What he said doesn't make sense to me. But you don't do it. Let's say he had health problems or something like that. He wouldn't be fighting if he had health problems. You're the world champion, you've held the belt for seven years, you've been in this company forever... You don't go up there after a fight like that and just say 'hey, I'm going to go take some time off and do whatever'. If that's the case, retire."
St-Pierre said he understood how White felt, but knew how he felt, too, and it was not good.
"You know, I have so much stress, so much stuff going on in my life right now and I don't know what to say," said St-Pierre. "It is what it is, you know?"
"I have stuff going on in my life. I need to make a point in my life, okay? This is my personal life, I cannot speak to you about this."
"I understand the point of view for the UFC and everything. It's bad for them if I leave like this. Like I said, I need to make a point man. I can't sleep at night now, I'm going crazy. I have issues, man. I need to relax. I need to get out for a while. I don't know what I'm going to do."
In the end, White closed the line of question by saying the pair would be in communication.
“We’ll talk,” said White. “I’m going to talk to the guy. He doesn’t want to talk about it, he said it 10 times. I’ll talk to him. He and I will leave here, and we will go talk.”
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